I would like some advice. Im just starting to plan my trip to South America, I will be going in 2007 for six months. Ive got lots of time to go many places but I really dont know how to plan my journey. I was thinking of going to these countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia, possibly in that order, but i dont know if that is the best way. The only thing I do know is that I should go to Brazil first because I want to go to the RIo Carnival in February and I will be arriving in S.A in January. Apart from that Im open to suggestions, in fact im begging for them as I am completely clueless! Any help with what places I should go and in what order would be very useful, along with anything else you know. It will all be greatly appreciated. I know I have a long time before I go but i really want to start with the planning now cos Im just so excited!
I would get an open jawed one allowing you to fly into Brazil and out of Columbia, I looked at a similar one and it cost about £800-900, email travel agents for quotes.
Are you planning on travelling overland for your trip or taking buses? Have a look in some travel guides for routings, Lonely Planet's 'South America on a Shoestring' has this at the beginning of the book. Your route will also depend on the weather as you don't want to be in south Argentina or Chile in winter, it'll get a bit chilly.
If you are taking buses, I might re-organize so that you do a generally circular trip. Starting in Brazil, head south to Argentina, then west to Chile, north to Bolivia, Peru and Columbia. That will save you from criss-crossing the continent and tracking back over land you have seen before.
This assumes, of course, that you aren't doing some jungle tour through Brazil and into Bolivia.
As for things to see, be sure to check out Patagonia and Terra Del Fuego in Argentina and Chile. See some penguins and take a glacier hike.